Acadiana Planning Commission: Using Opportunity Zones to Support Rural Wealth Creation
11 Mar 2021
Following the creation of Opportunity Zones in 2017, the Acadiana Planning Commission (APC), located in Lafayette, Louisiana, moved quickly to position its seven-parish region for investment through the new tax-based incentive intended to support distressed communities. APC partnered with One Acadiana, the regional chamber of commerce, to create Invest Acadiana, an initiative and accompanying web portal to promote investment in the 25 Opportunity Zones (OZs) across the region. Through this initiative, detailed and informative prospectuses for both the city of Lafayette and the entire region were published and in time Invest Acadiana became a model for how small metro and rural regions could leverage Opportunity Zones to encourage economic development. The regional partners also gained national attention for their efforts and were recognized by Forbes in December 2019 as one of the “Top 20 Opportunity Zones catalysts” in the country.